How many people do you know who still create elaborate scrapbooks with their photos?
How many of those people are eligible for the senior citizens discount at IHOP?
Scrapbooking is going the way of a lot of 80s & 90s trends. But unlike parachute pants and vinyl records, it’s not getting a hipster revival.
MLMs like Stampin’ Up prove that there’s still a market for it, however small…but Creative Memories just couldn’t pull it off.
Was I ever involved?
This video explains everything:
Make sense? Either way, here’s the full review on Creative Memories.
Creative Memories is a scrapbooking direct sales company founded in 1987 by Rhonda Anderson. They were based in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and they pretty much single-handedly started the scrapbooking craze.
In 2004 they were still pulling in around $425 million in annual revenue and selling out scrapbooking events across the country. However, their sales only increased 6% that year, less than what they were used to, and soon, they would start to decline.
As luck would have it, scrapbooking sales were declining for everyone. Thanks a lot, digitals cameras.
They enlisted a new president, Asha Morgan Moran, to pull them through the slump, but she did the opposite. By 2008, their annual revenue dropped to $148.8 million and they had to declare bankruptcy. 
Two years later, it was revealed that lawsuits from employees that year charged leadership with putting their financial interests before the overall well-being of the company, and that was a big reason for their financial collapse. 
However, the company dusted themselves off and tried again…and again…and again. They went through another bankruptcy. In 2013, they re-launched under new ownership and the name Ahni & Zoe. They re-branded, scaling down both employees and the amount of products offered, but adding in some new stuff like a mobile app and computer program for scrapbooking. 
But by August of 2014, they shut down the last of their direct sales operations in the U.S. and Canada, leaving even the highest ranked distributors with nothing to show for their years of hard work. 
How much does Creative Memories cost?
It costs $49 to become a Creative Memories Advisor. There are no minimum monthly order requirements.
Creative Memories sold scrapbooking products — pretty much everything you could think of.
Their parties were basically like having a Hobby Lobby in your house.
They sold scrapbooking books bound in their Minnesota manufacturing plant that came in a variety of colors and designs.
They also sold all kinds of craft materials, craft papers, stickers, scrapbooking glues, and other decorative accents and accessories.
Distributors were given commission on personal sales that ranged from 10%-40%. It’s a pretty wide margin, and depended on how much the distributor could sell over a 12-month period. Downline commission depended on the same numbers.
- $1-$550 in annual sales: 10% commission on personal sales, 2% commission on downline
- $551-$2,500 in annual sales: 25% commission on personal sales, 5% commission on downline
- $2,501-$7,500 in annual sales: 30% commission on personal sales, 6% commission on downline
- $7,501-$15,000 in annual sales: 35% commission on personal sales, 7% commission on downline
- $15,001+ in annual sales: 40% commission on personal sales, 8% commission on downline
They also offered account credit bonuses of $100 each time a distributor’s monthly sales totaled $2,000 or more.
Creative Memories definitely wasn’t a scam. In fact, it was one of the few MLMs that you could really feel good working for.
But they’re also a good lesson in MLM: these companies rarely last, even if they’ve been around for decades. Eventually, most of them will topple. And distributors aren’t real employees of the company, so when that happens, they’re left in the dust.
Look, if it’s financial freedom you seek and you like automated ways to build passive income, there are better ways.
(and you can trash those old MLM habits, too)